The Dryads Duo, formed in 2010 by violinist Carla Santos and pianist Saul Picado, seek to explore and bring to the public lesser performed, but not less worthy of being presented, repertoire from the late 19th century to the present day. In their recitals, the Dryads Duo aims to create a coherent combination between the less known and the standard repertoire providing the public with the sense of ownership and freshness, always conveying their engaging sensibility and maturity through the pieces performed.
After being awarded the 1st prize at the “Prémio Jovens Músicos” Competition in Portugal in 2011, the Dryads Duo have appeared in the most important concert halls and venues across Portugal, including Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro Cultural de Belém, Casa da Música, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Palácio Foz and Centro de Cultura Contemporânea de Castelo Branco. The Dryads Duo also performed at the International Music Festivals “Primavera Musical” in Castelo Branco, Estoril’s Music Festival and “Festivais de Outono” in Aveiro.
Their first CD was released in 2012 (Fundação GDA – Musical Managements Copyrights) with works by Janáček, Ravel and Enescu. In 2016, the Dryads Duo released and presented their second CD in a Recital in Paris. This CD, entitled Intimante Colours is an important mark in the Duo’s career as it includes the piece that inspired the name of the Duo: “Dryads et Pan”, from Szymanowski’s Mythes Op. 30. Alongside these beautiful Mythes were also included Elgar’s and Respighi’s Sonatas. This CD is part of the KNS Classical’s label catalogue.
Always keen to develop and expand their musical knowledge and playing, they have been working with Professors Radu Blidar, Peter Bithell, Pascal Nemirovski, Gerardo Ribeiro and Liviu Prunaru.
Based in London since 2010, the Duo performs regularly in the UK, namely in Aylesbury, Brighton, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London (Victoria & Albert Museum, Burgh House, St. James’s Piccadilly, St. Martin in the Fields and Conway Hall). They performed for the first time in France at the Grand Thêátre Opéra de Bordeaux, in 2015, and in 2016 at the Landesgalerie in Linz, Austria.
Future projects of the Dryads Duo include the close collaboration with Portuguese composers for the presentation of new commissioned works.
Portuguese violinist Carla Santos was awarded in 2009 a place at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, studying with Professor Radu Blidar for her Master Degree in Performance. In the year 2011-2012, as a RCM Scholar, Carla Santos continued her studies with the same teacher, obtaining an Artist Diploma (with distinction). During these three years, Carla joined the RCM Symphony Orchestra, where she had the opportunity to work with some renowned conductors, such as Diego Masson, Sian Edwards, Rory MacDonald, Mikk Murdvee, Franck Ollu, Vladimir Jurowski, Lorin Maazel and Bernard Haitink.
Carla Santos was admitted in 1995 into the Conservatório de Música Calouste Gulbenkian in Aveiro, in Ana Sofia Mota’s class, having concluded her studies at this isntitution in July 2004 with the maximum classification, having received the Fundação Pascoal Award for best instrument student in that year.
In 2003, she joined the Youth Symphonic Orchestra of Santa Maria da Feira, where she was indicated as concertino for several times and played as a soloist in 2006 under the direction of the conductor Ernst Schelle.
In 2005 she was admitted at Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra in Lisbon where she concluded her Bachelor degree in the class of Àgnes Sárosi. As part of her academic activity, she often played with Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, as well as with Orquestra Académica Metropolitana with which she performed as soloist in 2008, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto nr 4. During this period Carla had the opportunity to collaborate with several portuguese orchestras, including Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras, Orquestra do Algarve, Orquestra de Câmara de Sintra, Lisbon Film Orchestra, Orquestra Académica Metropolitana and Momentum Perpetuum having worked with many renowned conductors as Alberto Lysy, Jean-Marc Burfin, Joana Carneiro, Martin André, Jean-Sebastian Berreau, Pablo Heras-Casado and Michael Zilm.
Carla participated in numerous Masterclasses given by Gerardo Ribeiro, Valentin Stefanov, Sebastian See-Schierenberg, Max Rabinowitsj, Daniel Rowland, Aníbal Lima, Angel Sampedro, Radu Unguereanu, Gilles Apap, David Frühwirth, Marco Rizzi and Liviu Prunaru.
In 2015, Carla was invited by Ernst Schelle to play as a soloist Max Bruch’s violin Concerto with Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras.
Carla is currently living and teaching in London and at the Windsor Music Academy.
Born in Portugal, Saul started having music lessons at the age of 6. With 10 years old Saul became a student at the Conservatório Regional de Castelo Branco, where his piano studies began. During his time at the Conservatory he was awarded twice the First Prize in the Competitions “Lopes Graça” and Third Prize and the Prize for Best Performer of Beira Baixa in the 2005 International Piano Competition “Cidade do Fundão”.
In 2010 he graduated with distinction in Solo Piano, Chamber Music and Accompaniment at Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra, where he studied piano with professor Alexei Eremine.
In 2011 he was awarded the 2nd Prize in the “Prémio Jovens Músicos” Competiton (Portugal) – Solo Piano category.
In November 2011 he was also awarded a “Highly Commendation” in the Guildhall of internal Contest School of Music & Drama “Beethoven Piano Prize”.
In 2012 he gave the inaugural recital of the Concert Series “Explicação da Ausência” in Castelo Branco, Portugal and he was invited to give the inaugural recital of the “Piano Cycle EDP 2013 ” in Suggia Room at Casa da Música, Oporto, Portugal.
Saul obtained his Masters Degree in Performance in 2012 from Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he studied with professors Peter Bithell and Martin Roscoe. During the Masters he was awarded scholarships by Steinway & Sons and the Steel Charitable Trust and the HWE & WL Tovery.
In order to continue working privately with professor Peter Bithell, Saul was awarded in 2012 and 2013 a scholarship by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Between 2012 and 2013 Saul studied also with portuguese pianist Pedro Burmester.
For the academic year of 2014/2015 he was awarded the Gilbert & Eileen Edgar Junior Fellowship in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music.
Saul is currently living and teaching in London and at the Windsor Music Academy.
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